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Sports & Recreation

  • Best Team

    Florida Marlins

    The 2003 version of the Marlins wasn't just the best team in South Florida, or in baseball, or in all of sports last year. They were, from a dramatic standpoint, one of the best teams in recent memory. First off, the horribly nicknamed "Men in Teal" weren't supposed to do much, except maybe give the Braves some decent practice before… More >>
  • Best Athlete

    Juan Pierre

    Nobody really seemed to think much of Juan Pierre when the Marlins signed him last offseason. Fast guy, kind of goofy looking, solid hitter, but not someone who would ever, as he might put it in his hyperbolic fashion, shock the world. But in a way, he did, using his dashing speed to help the Marlins win the World Series.… More >>
  • Best Playground

    Charnow Park

    OK, so we know you aren't the gaudy type whose tikes hanker for those newfangled water parks like Castaway Island in Hollywood. And the high-tech stuff in Fort Lauderdale's Holiday Park, which includes a train locomotive, is a little too much for your precious little rowdies. So consider this: There's a modest collection of swings, slides, and other climbables on… More >>
  • Best Place to Jog

    Flagler Drive

    Located on the eastern periphery of downtown West Palm Beach, Flagler Drive is the picturesque waterfront roadway that embodies the city's more enticing aesthetic qualities. Each year, the road is home to a few significant cardio-related events, such as the American Heart Association's HeartWalk and the Komen Breast Cancer Foundation's Race for the Cure. But even when the street isn't… More >>
  • Best Gym

    Tag Gymnastics

    There are those cool gyms. You know the ones. Lotsa lycra, gizmos galore, and shoes that cost more than the gross national product of Honduras. Well, those aren't for us. We like kids who fly through the air with the greatest and then sneeze. The top location for this is Tag Gymnastics in Weston. The place has produced "a steady… More >>
  • Best Place to Paddle

    The Lakes section of Hollywood

    Lots of people like to rent canoes and paddle the Loxahatchee River in North Palm Beach County or Everglades National Park way down near Homestead. Some local stalwarts stand by Hollywood's Anne Kolb Nature Center. But we're more civilized. We like to drop our ocean kayak in the drink near the eastern end of South South Lake Drive, open a… More >>
  • Best Way to Bend It Like Beckham

    Florida Storm Soccer

    "You play like a fag!" That's arguably the most insulting barb a person can hurl in the homophobic world of sports. But if you say that to one of the guys bending it like Beckham for the Florida Storm, he might take the jab as a compliment. That's because the Florida Storm is Broward County's gay soccer team. Formed last… More >>
  • Best Pickup Basketball

    Holiday Park

    A couple of kids chatter at each other in Creole. Then one issues this proclamation: "It'll be us two small guys against you two big guys. And we'll win." Other big guy turns out to be a lout, and these scamps can ball, so indeed, the big guys crash hard. That's the egalitarian world of hoops at Holiday Park. So… More >>
  • Best Golf Course

    Jacaranda Golf Club

    In our fair region, it seems that every real estate developer shares the same approach. In a word, bulldoze. We're not saying that the Jacaranda golf course is one of the natural wonders of the world, but its designer (Mark Mahannah) did take advantage of its beautiful tropical environment. Ficus, live oak, banyan, and, yes, jacaranda trees create a luscious… More >>
  • Best Nine Holes

    Eco Golf Club

    Really now, unless you're retired or without family of any kind, isn't 18 holes a bit much? You've got a life and, hell, you play a full round and the entire day has been duffed. That's why we often opt to play at Eco Golf Club, the best nine holes in Broward County. It's a beautiful and challenging 2,259-yard half-course,… More >>
  • Best Golfing Range

    Aqua Golf Range & Pro Shop

    Who woulda thunk that a bucolic setting such as this would be so close to the hubbub of I-95? Well, the producers of There's Something About Mary were certainly savvy enough to find it. For it was upon Aqua's small fake-turf tees that Matt Dillon began his clumsy overtures to win the heart of Mary, played by Cameron Diaz. Which… More >>
  • Best Cheap Thrill

    The mechanical bull at Davie Junction

    You can tame this bobbing brute for about the same cost as a cheeseburger. By 9 p.m. on Wednesdays, when the capsizing critter rolls onto the dance floor, five bucks gets you in the door. Hubris and maybe a shot of whiskey is all it takes to clamber aboard the bucking bovid. But boy howdy, you best dig your heels… More >>
  • Best Florida Marlins Player

    Dontrelle Willis

    Everyone remembers that woolly October, with Pudge doing his best Cerberus impression at home plate and Josh Beckett mowing down Yankees. But were it not for Willis' summer, the champagne-soaked 2003 Marlins would have been the yeah, whatever 2002 Marlins. In May, the Fish were reeling from injuries when Willis, 21, got the call from Double A. He jumped in… More >>
  • Best Not-So-Cheap Thrill

    Mar-a-Lago Club

    OK, so you aren't on television risking imminent unemployment at the hands of real estate mogul Donald Trump on The Apprentice. That doesn't mean you can't hobnob with "The Donald." If you're willing to put out, that is, and we mean big bucks -- really big bucks. For just getting into Mar-a-Lago, Trump's oh-so-exclusive private club in Palm Beach, you'll… More >>
  • Best Place to Gamble

    Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

    During our great nation's early history, as Europeans fought with the native people for control of precious land, the Seminole Indians of Florida established an alliance with escaped African slaves. They had a common enemy: angry ol' Mr. Whitey. But this alliance was by no means the strangest in the Seminoles' history. You can behold the strangest yourself when you… More >>
  • Best Park in Broward

    City Hall Park

    Park space comes in a couple of distinct varieties. First, there are those swatches of jungle speckling the map; the old-growth, thousand-acre preserves that muffle the sounds of motors, block the views of buildings, and launch your thoughts out of this stultifying alleged civilization for a few hours. These parks are mistresses. The other main sort of park, the wife… More >>
  • Best Park in Palm Beach

    Phipps Park

    Twenty years ago, the only thing a park would need to keep the kids happy was a baseball field and a concession stand. Nowadays, parks need to offer traditional sports facilities, as well as something for youngsters into the Xtreme sports of skateboarding and rollerblading. Phipps Park caters to both crowds, offering a place where kids can slide into first… More >>
  • Best Inner-city Park

    Reverend Samuel Delevoe Park

    Too often, urban parks are built on unwanted or undevelopable land. Not this one. This 13-acre hideaway just west of downtown Fort Lauderdale existed as a three-hole (!) golf course from the early '50s until the early '70s, when the land was dredged for bedrock. Named in honor of one of Fort Lauderdale's first African-American cops (shot and killed on… More >>
  • Best Picnic Spot

    Peanut Island

    What dummy thought of this category? Duh... the best picnic spot is from the lido deck of your yacht. What? You don't have one? Oh. Well, what shall we do about you then? Ah, here's a good one -- leave your car at Phil Foster Park beside the Blue Heron bridge that links Riviera Beach with Singer Island. Next, you'll… More >>
  • Best Pool Hall

    The Billiard Club

    Before the flaming Fab Five of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy went on television and made being a metrosexual oh so cool, real men played pool in smoky bars with grimy tables and sticks as crooked as the bartender, whose scowl could melt the paint off a freshly pimped ride. But, alas, times have changed, and so have pool… More >>
  • Best Surf Report

    Ground Swell Surf Shop

    "Thank you for calling the Ground Swell Surf Report. Today is Saturday; the shop is open from 10 until 6 p.m. We have a great selection of sandals and boards inside the shop, the north county's friendliest store. Surf conditions at the Juno Pier at 6:45 a.m.: The wind is out of the northeast at about ten miles an hour.… More >>
  • Best Place for Heavenly Bodies

    Faith Body Fitness

    And lo, unto the buffet didst thou go, and there ye did tarry amongst the starches and plentiful prime rib, sinking ever deeper into the iniquity of two dozen kinds of pies, taking into thy breast the butter-fried tilapia and candied pork. And then didst thy body protest against thy loin garment. And the heavens opened, and a voice commanded,… More >>
  • Best Place to Snorkel

    Fort Lauderdale

    Fort Lauderdale is a city of contrasts, and nowhere are the contrasts more startling than when you stand on the corner of Las Olas Boulevard and A1A. To your left, you'll see the infamous Elbo Room, where young out-of-towners receive their drinking badges. It can be humanity at its worst. But then look at the Atlantic Ocean. About a third… More >>
  • Best Miami Dolphins Player

    Adewale Ogunleye

    The Dolphins couldn't score last year, couldn't throw, couldn't catch, couldn't return kicks. They did, however, play some defense. The 'Fins gave up only 16.3 points a game, third in the NFL, and were fifth against the rush. For those spare blessings, give a steaming slab of credit to Ogunleye, he of the AFC-leading 15 sacks and Pro Bowl start… More >>
  • Best Croquet Evangelist

    Bob Alman

    You better get your fill of baseball now, while it's still the national pastime. 'Cause if Bob Alman has his way -- and he's so persistent, passionate, and charismatic, there's a good chance he will -- we'll all be taking each other out to a different kind of ball game pretty soon. Alman started playing croquet as a youngster but… More >>
  • Best Place to Ride a Bicycle

    Everglades Holiday Park

    As all bicyclists know, the safest place to ride is anyplace you won't get flattened by a car. Given our scarcity of urban bike paths, hard-core riders have taken to the lonely levees that line the Everglades: those long, straight, shadeless fire-access roads motor vehicles aren't permitted on. One favorite mountain-biking spot is handily located just on the edge of… More >>
  • Best Skateboard Shop

    B.C. Surf & Sport

    Toy Machine. Alien Workshop. Almost. Enjoi . Element. Baker. Black Label. Foundation. If you recognize these brand names and you're salivating right now, you might want to stop reading and start rolling down to B.C. Surf & Sport, a store run by skaters, for skaters. They always have at least 140 decks in stock, plus everything you need in terms… More >>
  • Best Dive Shop

    Divers Unlimited

    The logo for Divers Unlimited is a dolphin holding a diploma in its fin. That explains exactly what you need to know about this dive shop, located on Pines Boulevard, just west of the Hollywood border. In addition to being one of the largest and most comprehensive dive shops in South Florida -- with row after row of wet suits,… More >>
  • Best Local Sports Buy

    Best Kiteboarding

    Those who have heard of kiteboarding, the seemingly insane sport of connecting a high-powered kite to a wakeboard, might think of the windy coast of the Dominican Republic or Maui. In February, a new kiteboarding manufacturer called Best Kiteboarding is hoping to make the sport synonymous with Delray Beach. Owned by pro kiteboarder Shannon Best and associates Alex Shogren and… More >>
  • Best Skate Park

    Boardz-N-Bladez - CLOSED

    In the 1980s, skateboarding emerged from burly, backyard pool sessions and into the world of popular culture. But as the decade came to an end, so did the sport's popularity. For skateboarding stalwarts, it was back to the streets -- and back underground. And in the early '90s, a new generation of skateboarding was born -- one that fused the… More >>
  • Best Boating

    Island City Kayak Co.

    This 6.5-mile jaunt through the waters around Wilton Manors offers more for the voyeur than the nature lover. The waters are always calm, the folks who rent out the kayaks are friendly (they also organize Full Moon Kayak, a sporadic night kayak ride preceded by a winetasting at a local spirits store), and the trips let you spy on various… More >>
  • Best Bowling Alley

    Don Carter University Lanes

    This hospital-sized bowling mecca wins on quantity. Sixty-four frickin' lanes (56 in Tamarac). A pro shop, a huge lounge, a massive snack bar, an arcade with air hockey and coin-op basketball. The main room is so large, it could develop its own weather patterns. The high school kids, well, they flock here. You should see the glee on a pimply… More >>
  • Best Place to Rollerblade

    North Beach

    You want a straightaway. A long one. Maybe a few gentle curves to keep it interesting and challenging. You want something to look at -- tropical vegetation, a seascape, a glimpse of sand and waves. Mostly, you want a clear path so you can get a little momentum going. There's a Zen-like rhythm to distance skating. You don't want to… More >>
  • Best Swimming Pool

    Jefferson at Young Circle

    At its best, a swimming pool is a rectangular waterhole, an aquamarine gathering place where the social rituals are played out with all of the underlying rigor of village life in Kenya or Bolivia. There's something about a gently rolling body of water that promotes communal ties. Nowhere is this more evident than the 75-foot pool at the heart of… More >>
  • Best Miami Heat Player

    Lamar Odom

    They call Kevin Garnett "The Freak." They say he's in a class by himself. They're right. Nobody in basketball has so much height, shooting touch, quickness, and floor game in one package. But our man Odom can at least light a candle to K.G.'s brilliance. At six-foot-ten, Lamar's got size (including the best set of shoulders in the NBA), good… More >>
  • Best Indoor Sports Facility

    Sports Mall

    The weather in South Florida is as extreme as it is unpredictable. Some days, it seems as hot as the surface of Venus. Other days, it's raining so hard that you'd think the ground would never lose its thirst. That spells trouble for local athletes. But there's a solution: Sports Mall. This 75,000-square-foot indoor sports complex in Deerfield Beach offers… More >>
  • Best Sports Venue

    Roger Dean Stadium

    Marlins fans will spend the season bartering with scalpers to sit in the upper levels of what's really a football stadium. But fans further north know real baseball: Roger Dean Stadium. Here, all 7,000 seats are close enough to catch a foul ball, and the only scalpers will sell you tickets for less than the price of a hot dog.… More >>
  • Best Place to Cool Off

    Coconut Cove Water Park

    If this were New England, we'd be touting the "Best Place to Keep Warm." But it's South Florida, where trying to stay cool is the name of the game nearly year-round. And there are scores of people down here, all looking for the same relief. Many head for the beach. Just as many, it seems, head for the Rapids Water… More >>
  • Best Beach

    Blowing Rocks Preserve

    Rocks? In South Florida? Yep. Only 30 miles from downtown West Palm is the only outcropping along the southern Atlantic Coast, in fact. When big-ass waves break along the base of these massive chunks of Anastacia limestone, the salty spray is channeled up through narrow holes leading to the surface. During the highest tides and especially after rough winter weather,… More >>
  • Best Place to Sleep Outdoors

    Scrub Jay Campsite

    It's a grueling, five-mile hike to the desolate Scrub Jay campsite deep within Jonathan Dickinson State Park, especially when hauling camping gear, but it's well worth your aching back. The campsite is hidden in the sandy uplands, among a sprawling field dotted with slash pines and filled with saw palmetto bushes. Unlike most state park campsites, mashed together like suburban… More >>
  • Best Tennis Courts in Broward

    Jefferson Street Park

    Sure, lights are important, and this place has 'em. And a perfect surface is a must. Of course, Jefferson Street's are smooth as an air hockey table. And to be in the middle of a neighborhood so you can walk there is vital, as are a couple of practice walls. Yup, they're there, as well as swing sets and a… More >>
  • Best Tennis Courts in Palm Beach

    Currie Park

    Take Flagler Drive north through downtown West Palm Beach, past the Northwood neighborhood mansions facing the Intracoastal Waterway, and you'll find three tennis courts with a stunning view. Currie Park's hard courts sit just a lob away from the water, with a view of Palm Beach mansions across the way. The 11-acre park is more known for its five boat… More >>
  • Personal Best

    Ollie

    Full name: Alan "Ollie" Gelfand Age: 41 Hometown: Hollywood Claim to fame: Trendsetting skateboard practitioner. What he's done for us lately: He recently opened Olliewood Skate Park in Hollywood, parlaying his international rep as a skateboarder into a business. This is no ordinary glide jockey. Gelfand is one of the originators of the sport, the inventor 30 years ago of… More >>
  • Best Florida Panthers Player

    Roberto Luongo

    Face it, the Panthers aren't looking all that good this year. Most days, their defense is porous, and if they send a puck or two to the back of the net, then it's been a good night. This is why goalie Roberto Luongo is -- without a doubt -- the team's most valuable player. Luongo joined the Panthers in the… More >>
  • Best Rookie

    Dwyane Wade

    The most exciting rookie ever to play for the Miami Heat couldn't get a mention on ESPN if he played with his head on fire. The Big National Media is so fixated on the LeBron and Carmelo hype that it's pretty much missed the emergence of Dwyane Wade, who could become better than both of them. Seriously. Sure, LeBron is… More >>
  • Best Sophomore Year

    Miguel Cabrera

    Last year, during one of those key stretch games against the Phillies at Pro Player Stadium, the Marlins' Miguel Cabrera's face popped up on the scoreboard as he came up to bat. An 8-year-old boy sitting in the stands looked up in sheer wonder. "Look at that! He's just a little kid! He's only 12!" The amazed boy wasn't that… More >>
  • Best Reason to Avoid the Marlins Clubhouse

    Josh Beckett

    After pitching a gem at the age of 23 to win the World Series in Yankee Stadium, all Marlins' ace Josh Beckett seemed to talk about was his plan to kill deer the next day. He rarely smiled, his answers were gruff, and his demeanor said, "This is no big deal for a stud like me." And all we could… More >>
  • Best Dolphins Tribute

    Steve's Friendly Pawn & Jewelry

    Before you browse the scuffed-up power tools and stereos inside the store, take note of the running Dolphins commentary on the front windows and doors. Stenciled in block letters on a sun-faded Dolphins helmet poster from 2000: "SUUUCKS!" Stenciled on a poster of the Dolphins 2002 schedule: "SUU-U-CKS." Stenciled diagonally across a lifesized Ricky Williams poster from 2003: "SUU-U-CKS!!" The… More >>
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